Loving much – loving well

To Follow Jesus

My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.

March/April 2016 Issue –  Straight from the Heart‘I have you in my heart … all of you share God’s grace with me’  Philippians 1:7

The text set for today’s reading and meditation:

Philippians 1:9  (NIVUK): ”And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, “

I liked a number of points made by Selwyn in today’s study.

  • “Paul’s concern is not for the success of their evangelism or growth in numbers, but that they might know God better.”
  • “What does it mean to love well? It means that even when human love is not flowing to you, you are still open to God’s love that you can give out love although your own heart may be aching for a human response.”
  • “God wants our love to be an informed love, a wise love, with a moral quality about it that knows how to love in truth.”
  • “You can always tell a person who loves others by the way they treat them. How do you treat people? With unkindness and disrespect or with ‘knowledge and depth of insight’? Love well.”

One of the problems when discussing love in the English language, is that we use the same word to express a number of different types of love. In the Greek, of the New Testament, there are a number of words used: ‘Agape’, is the word most widely used for love, and the way the word is used in Scripture is to describe the giving of all of one’s love to another. The sacrificial and unconditional love of Jesus is the best example of ‘agape’ love.

The word ‘agape’ is used over 250 times in the New Testament, whereas ‘phileo’ (philos) a fondness for another, for example, the affection given to close friends, is used about 50 times. The other common words for love in Greek, are; ‘eros’ (intimate love between husband and wife) and ‘stergo’ – which usually describes the love between parents and children; these two words are not found in the New Testament.

Unfortunately, there are some ‘blind’ social commentators who try to equate the ‘eros’ love of intimate relationships with the ‘agape’ love of Jesus; it’s my view that they are not the same type of love. What are your thoughts on this topic?

 

[I’ve just posted a few words about temptation on my other site www.tofollowjesus.net it may be of an interest to some people]